Just a student portal… or was it?
The University had a clear vision for a new student portal – a platform that allowed Griffith University to communicate directly to different cohorts of students simultaneously.
Some of the requirements were typical of any other student portal: to be fast and accessible on most devices.
However, other requirements were more challenging. The University wanted to offer a 360-degree view of all the information available for each student in a secure and easy-to-use interface, necessitating complex integrations.
The university also stressed the importance of giving students the ability to complete administrative tasks without the help of the university staff, already stretched beyond capacities. For example, students should be able to enrol to courses or pay their fees directly within the portal.
An all-rounded portal
Squiz Matrix CMS was used to integrate over 22 different systems and databases to offer a complete overview of students’ information in one single place.
Squiz worked collaboratively with Peak Usability, as well as the myGriffith portal team, to apply a robust, user-centered design approach throughout the project.
Users had input through eight focus groups, a university-wide survey, and stakeholder interviews, ensuring the final product met all needs and requirements.
Its simple interface made it easy to create a clean, modern site appealing to students.
Content strategy informed the way the portal’s wireframes would be laid out and Squiz ensured that each wireframe could function within the portal and deliver a great user experience.
To keep students engaged and informed about their university, Griffith University is using a Noticeboard widget that displays relevant information to the student in chronological order.
News can be personalized based on the recipient. For example, a business student will see information about their faculty, relevant scholarships, business club activities, and more.
A subtle unread notification button at the top indicates to the user that she has some news to catch up with.
To help ensure that students remain on top of their schedule, and therefore are more likely to attend class or simply turn up their assignments, the My Schedule widget reminds users of upcoming key dates.
So that the schedule is not overwhelming to the user (and to save valuable screen space on the portal homepage!), the widget only shows the next three upcoming key dates. The user can click a button to see all dates on a separate screen.
Thanks to My Program, students can track their degree progress and credit points.
Whether to justify their grade for an internship or simply to know how they are tracking, students’ results are presented in a clear and user-friendly manner.
In “My Program”, Griffith University displays a helpful “progress bar” to give a fair idea to the student of their progress so far, but also what’s left to accomplish.
For each course, students can also drill down individual assessments and grades.
Students can also easily manage their course right from the portal, improving the student experience and alleviating the administrative team from performing repetitive tasks.
Payment tasks are still manual in many universities. Students need to visit their student administration in person to pay their fees, or even know how much they still owe.
With My Finances, Griffith University students can see at all times the total amount due, and payment deadlines, but also pay directly within the portal.
For all the other tasks that a student might perform during their student life (access WIFI, student inbox, etc), a dropdown button remains at the top of the page throughout the portal.
Griffith wished to utilize their existing infrastructure for the project to provide personalized content. Therefore, a single code path to handle the personalization logic had to be written. Although complex, the result was hugely successful.
"MyGriffth (portal) is a very impressive and brilliant way to find everything you need in one place! I used to get lost searching for information on the Griffith website, but this is no longer the case with the new MyGriffith platform. I am impressed by the creative minds who designed such a sophisticated platform in a simplified way!” says a Griffith University student.
And the rest of the students shared this sentiment: one week after launch, 52.6% of polled students rated the new portal Excellent despite having to adjust to a new student experience mid-semester.
myGriffith is now used for up to 500,000 sessions per month, making it one of Griffith's most highly visited sites.